Loved Ones Mourn Thanksgiving Loss Of NJ Cop

TOMS RIVER, N.J. (CBS 2) — Friends have been bringing flowers to the charred spot where Ocean Gate Police Officer Jason Marles was struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver early Thanksgiving morning, CBS 2HD’s Christine Sloan reports.

Police said the suspect was captured after fleeing the scene with several other people.

“I heard that they left him down here and took off. They left him trapped in the car,” said Shannon Flynn, Marles’ friend.

Police said Marles was trapped in his personal jeep, which burst into flames after being pushed into a guardrail. It happened just minutes after the father of two ended his shift in a police SUV.

Friends have come to cry, place purple bunting and bring flowers.

“It’s kind of ironic. I spoke to him at Wawa at 2 in the morning. He said he was doing DWI checks the whole night. Then I heard about this, I said why, just why. It’s a cruel irony,” said friend Keith Rodriguez. “Officer Jay, he was a really great officer, but other than that he was a really great friend. He’d give you the shirt off of his back if he could.”

Marles, who friends said was divorced but planning on getting back together with his wife, leaves behind two children, aged four and five.

“Good family guy. He loved his kids. They’re really going to miss him. I don’t know how they’re going to explain to the kids that daddy is not coming home because of a drunk driver,” said cousin Robert Smith.

The wife of Jersey City police officer Marc Dinardo, who was killed in the line of duty, was in Ocean Gate visiting family when this tragedy occurred. She planned on reaching out to Marles’s ex-wife.

“Stay strong and she will get through this. It’s going to be difficult, it’s going to be a long road, I am in no way near healed,” said Mary DiNardo.

The driver who crashed into the officer has been identified as Erick Uzcategui. The chief of the tiny police department said the 10-year veteran will be dearly missed.

“I can tell you the type of guy he was. He was a fan favorite with the kids, a good friend to many people,” said Chief Reece Fisher.

Funeral arrangements have not been made for Officer Marles, who would have turned 33 next month.

More from Christine Sloan
Comments

One Comment

  1. Lee says:

    I never had occasion to know Jay personally but my kids knew Jay, as did my wife. By all accounts he was a great guy. He had the respect of both of my teenage boys, which is something of an acomplishment for a Police Officer. The first thing they did when they got the news was lower our flag to half mast. My wife had just spoken to Jay when he came into the Bayville WAWA the day before. She still cannot believe that he is gone.

    This should be a reminder to all that we never know when we or those we love will draw the last breath, it can happen at any time. That said, we could all spend a little more time letting those who are important in our lives know how important they are to us.

    My heart goes out to his family.

  2. Anna says:

    WHAT A HORRIBLE TRAGEDY! Love and prayers to the family and friends of Officer Marles.

    TO A HAPPY DRIVER – you’re an ass to even post that. I hope the Judge throws the book at you for all of your tickets!

  3. A happy driver says:

    Do i get a dismmissal on the tickets he gave me since he wont be in court at the court date ??

    1. John says:

      to Happy Driver, Your an idiot and I would like to meet you to smack you in the head

    2. Kayla says:

      You are Fing sick & should rot in jail with the driver that killed this man!

  4. A happy driver says:

    Do i get a dismissal on the ticket he gave me ? he wont be in court on the court date🙂

  5. Steve says:

    What a terrible tragedy. My hearts go out to the loved ones of the deceased. Hang in there – decent people everywhere are thinking about you.

    Drunk driving (manslaughter), along with “violent” rape are two crimes for which our society hands out RIDICULOUSLY LENIENT sentences. We should put extreme pressure on our politicians and judicial system to correct this blunt stupidity!

  6. NYPD OFFICER says:

    FIRST WE LOSE AN NYPD BROTHER BY A DRUNK GOING THE WRONG WAY NOT TOO LONG AGO AND NOW ANOTHER BROTHER ACROSS THE RIVER. THIS NEEDS TO STOP ASAP GIVE THESE DRUNKS A TASTE OF THE LAW…. MY CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILY….

    1. John says:

      Oh, you mean like when off-duty NYPD cops mow down civilians on street corners and then delay adminstering breathalyzers to their own?

      1. Anna says:

        DRINKING AND DRIVING IS INSANE!! ANYone can mow down ANYone. Just because there are drunk cops who are reported in the media, doesn’t mean that this cop or any other cop deserves to have that happen to him. How can you even speak that way? You definitely have a cold heart and are insensitive to the family of this officer.

  7. PETER,MELISSA &LEVI BROWN says:

    WITH SMILES AND A WARM HELLO’S. ALWAYS ASKING HOW YOU AND YOUR FAMILY WERE DOING. HE TRULY CARED ABOUT THIS LITTLE TOWN HE SERVED AND BEFRIENDED . WHITH OUR HEART IN YOUR HANDS, YOU WILL BE MISSED DEARLY. PRAYERS AND LOVE TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.

  8. captbill'sgirl says:

    my deepest sympathies to office marles’ immediate family and his extended family in the fraternity of the long blue line. my dad was npyd for 34 years. glad the murderer was arrested. this is not manslaughter, it’s murder.those who also fled the scene are accessories before, during and after the fact. whoever served liquor to these people also has liability criminally and civilly. rot long in jail. you have deprived 2 children of their father for life. no sympathy, no second chance, no bettering yourself in prison either. no forgiveness, and certainly no forgetting. time for legislators to put into action all the words – harsh sentences need to be enacted as part of emergency legislation with little or no lag time to enactment from signing. too many victims, not enough justice.

  9. Jim Toomey says:

    My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family

  10. SO SAD says:

    OMG!!! What the hell is wrong with these drunk drivers? I can under stand the addiction to drinking alcohol… BUT why do they drive drunk????
    Lock him up and toss away the key. Yet another family destroyed.

    1. the Bara Family says:

      The Bara Family sends their deepest condolences to Jays Family He was part of uur family being Justins Best friend and fishing buddy since 5th grade. He was a BEAUTIFUL person! and had the BEST smile. He’ll be so missed….Respectfully,Diane,Justin,Rachel,Chelsea and Travis Bara

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